ETHIOPIA- ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS by

ETHIOPIA- ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another volume- the fifteenth- in the UNESCO series, designed to make available to students and teachers and artists rare art material up to now inaccessible except to a privileged and limited few. This particular volume has much less broad significance, but still takes its place in throwing light on a little known aspect of Christian art. Until 50 years ago research had not revealed material prior to the 17th century of Ethiopian art. Now in these manuscripts from the 14th-15th centuries, coinciding with the rock churches of Lalibela, we can see the illuminations done for the Gospels or books designed for liturgical use. They express the traditional methods, still in use today, and strongly resemble the kind of work done in the medieval scriptorium. Influence of the Coptic and Byzantine style of pen drawings, heavily outlined and tinted, is here, but the independence of development is significantly Ethiopian. Oddly enough, parallels are found in the work of Irish illuminators -- of the same period- half across the world from Ethiopia. Very special.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1961
Publisher: N. Y. Graphic Society